Choosing Integral Blinds for Bifolding Doors

Integral blinds offer a discreetly integrated solution for privacy and shading for large glass openings. However, for consumers looking to choose integral blinds for bifolding doors there are several other things to consider.

In this article, we guide you through the selection process for choosing an integral blind.

Integral blinds for bifolding doors, what you should know.

integral blinds in lean to conservatory.
Bifolding doors can be greatly enhanced with the use of integral blinds between the glass.

Integral blinds fitted to bifolding doors are a blind product permanently installed within a double glazed unit. Many people assume that the two products are separate, but they are very much one item.

A typical double glazed sealed unit without an integral blind is hermetically sealed. This is what keeps the panes of glass free from moisture and enables the glass to work with the door in being energy efficient. A sealed unit with an integral blind is no different. It is primarily made in the same way as a standard double glazed unit but also consisting of the blind.

When choosing an integral blind, there are three key factors around these products.

  • Integral blinds are part of the double glazed units, not a separate product.
  • The reliability of an integral blind will depend on the brand and the company that manufactures it.
  • Integral blinds are suitable for any bifolding door system in PVCu, aluminium or timber.

How is an integral blind for bifolding doors made?

As standard, today’s bifolding doors are supplied with a latest generation double glazed unit. These typically consist of two pieces of toughened safety glass, either 4mm or 6mm thick.

The thickness of the inner and outer pieces of glass are determined by the glass size itself. One piece of glass is coated with a Low Emissivity coating, also referred to as Low E.

Sealing the unit is a spacer bar. Modern technology has mostly moved away from aluminium spacer bars to more thermally efficient materials. These are typically called ‘warm edge’ spacer bars. Within the glass panels is the cavity, filled with Argon Gas.

An integral blind, subject to the individual glass specification will be made to this basic glass specification. You can enhance this standard unit with laminated glass, self-cleaning glass, acoustic glass and solar control glazing as well.

Choosing an integral blind for bifolding doors.

colour matched integral blind in a door
Integral blinds can generally be colour matched to the most popular colours for aluminium bifolds.

The first option available is the colour of the integral blind. This will largely be determined by the colour of the bifolding doors. Most customers will choose a matching colour integral blind, others may prefer a contrasting colour.

It is worth bearing in mind that not all blinds are available in the full range of RAL colours that include very bright and vivid colours. If you are choosing a very bold or unusual colour for your new bifolding doors, it is worth checking the colour availability on integral blinds.

Most manufacturers such as Morley Glass, the leading manufacturer in the UK will offer a standard colour to match the most popular white, black or grey bifolding door colours.

The second option will be deciding how the integral blinds in the bifolding doors lift, raise and tilt. There are four options available.

Integral blinds with manual cord control.

The most popular options are manual operation. Integral blinds can be operated by a rotational magnetic pull cord. This can be removed if required. Magnetic cords stay close to the glass and will not dangle or swing like conventional cords. Even with the cord operation blinds meet all the necessary safety standards applicable to integral blinds.

Integral blinds with manual magnet control.

integral blind with cord control.
The cord control on an integral blind.

The other option for manual operation is with a magnetic slider. A slider on the one side of the glass lifts and raises the slats. A further slider on the other end of the unit tilts them.

Motorised Operation.

When chosen with a motorised operation, integral blinds in bifolding doors can be lifted and lowered as well as tilted automatically. Control is with a wall switch or a remote control hand held unit.

Solar powered

With the solar powered option, a solar powder pack is fitted on the door. The blinds can be programmed or left to open and close depending upon the daylight levels outside. A full override facility exists enabling blinds to be controlled as required as well. A remote control is also provided.

How integral blinds are fitted to bifolding doors.

As integral blinds are fitted within the glass units, they are installed just like a piece of glass. Your bifolding doors will arrive unglazed. They will be installed first and then the glass with the integral blinds fitted.

Adjustments are carried out throughout the installation process to ensure that both the doors and the blinds are plumb and square. Final checks are made to ensure that the sealed units are packed correctly so that the doors open, slide and fold properly.

For electric or solar controlled blinds, these will be professionally wired up and commissioned.

What types of bifolding doors accept integral blinds?

old doors with integral blinds.
Any bifolding door, old or new should be able to accept an integral blind.

The great thing about integral blinds is that they are suitable for virtually every kind of bifolding door system. As long as the product takes a typical glass unit of at least 28mm, it is possible to have these with integral blinds.

It is also possible to install integral blinds to older bifolding doors. A complete change of glass will be required as the existing glass cannot usually be used. However, it is one way of bringing a modern touch to older folding doors.

Integral blinds can also be fitted to composite doors, swing doors, French doors, sliding doors and patio doors. They can also be provided to picture windows as well as opening casement windows.

If you would like more information about integral blinds for bifolding doors, please contact us.